Normal growth despite GH, IGF-I and IGF-II deficiency

E H Hathout, D J Baylink, S Mohan
Growth Hormone & IGF Research 1999, 9 (4): 272-7
A 6.5-year-old male with normal linear growth, despite septo-optic dysplasia, panhypopituitarism and a deficient GH/IGF axis, is presented. In addition to measuring IGF-I, IGF-II and IGFBP-3, serum IGFBP-1, -2, -4 and -5 were measured. A human osteosarcoma cell line was used to assess growth-promoting activity in the patient's serum. The role of leptin in linear growth in this case was investigated. There was no evidence for hyperinsulinism or hyperandrogenism. GH was undetectable upon multiple stimulation. GHBP was elevated. Serum IGF-I (25 microg/l), IGF-II (194 microg/l), IGFBP-3 (0.4 mg/l), and IGFBP-5 (87 microg/l) levels were low compared to age-matched prepubertal children. Serum IGFBP-4 level was normal. Molecular size of IGF-II in the patient's serum was normal, suggesting normal IGF-II bioavailability. Human osteosarcoma cell proliferation in response to the patient's serum was similar to sera from age-matched normal controls. Leptin levels were markedly elevated. Osteoblast cell proliferation was not stimulated by leptin. The data demonstrate that normal growth and osteoblast cell proliferation in this patient is not mediated by GH, total IGFs, insulin, or leptin, and suggest the presence of a yet unidentified growth factor or mechanism. The case offers a detailed picture of binding proteins in a case of growth without GH. It introduces osteoblast cell proliferation as a method of assessing serum growth-promoting activity in such cases. It adds IGF-II and leptin to the list of excluded growth-promoting candidates in GH-independent growth, and further demonstrates our incomplete understanding of the phenomenon of growth.

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